More English exhibitors than ever will join their Western counterparts at a Denver trade show from tomorrow (8 September).
The English contingent continues to grow at the traditionally strongly themed Western WESA show to run in Denver, Colorado this weekend (8 – 10 September).
The bi-annual (January and September) market remains 70% Western compared with 30% English.
However, as WESA executive director Amy Dill told ETN: “We are gaining in English exhibitors and have more this [time] than we’ve ever had at a September market.”
In total, more than 300 exhibitors and 1,100 buyers from 500 stores are expected to participate in the upcoming WESA (Western & English Sales Association) apparel and equipment trade show.
WESA also offers information and education for retailers and exhibitors via seminars and demonstration.
AETA WINS PLAUDITS BUT NEEDS MORE VISITORS
ETN spoke to exhibitors at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on 12 – 14 August where AETA has a new organizing team in place.
For the first time last month, the August AETA market was run for the trade, by the trade.
For 11 years, the biannual show was put on by Hopper Expositions for its owner, the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA).
But this year’s fixtures [the first was in January] have seen AETA take back control and organize its own fair.
The move has appeared to evoke a spirit of togetherness; a feeling that everyone should pull together.
“AETA’s organisers have made a great effort, and I thank them for that,” said Peter Wilkes of Vale Brothers.
He called on more retailers to back AETA in its efforts – and was by no means the only exhibitor to do so.
“I’d like the US dealers to support the show more. Meanwhile all exhibitors need to look at how they can encourage higher attendance levels.”
Peter added that he has pre-show plans to “liven things up” next year. “We should all take responsibility for the show’s results.”
Asked about visitor numbers, “quiet” was the most often quoted response from exhibitors.
However, the consensus is that AETA remains a reliable route to US retailers. Every exhibitor ETN spoke to said they would return in 2018.
“I would certainly rank the show as successful in helping us to reach the American market,” said Richard Brown of UK based Abbey England. “The order take was good.”
Asked what he’d like to see done differently, Richard remarked: “Trade shows need to stop looking like a clothing show and return to the saddlery core business with saddlers, bridle-makers and general supplies being more apparent.”
He went on to pledge the support of Abbey England – a workshop supplies specialist – to help achieve this.
At Horze Finntack, Rune Stadven said that although AETA was “quiet”, this Scandinavian company had “booked appointments, and therefore we got sales.”
He added: “AETA have to challenge themselves and get more visitors.”
A call for change was voiced by Marcus Cridland at UK based Shires Equestrian too.
“It was 100% better than last August, but footfall was still down,” he told ETN. “We just found that the retailers who visited our stand placed orders.”
AETA has traditionally been a biannual show [held in January and August], something Marcus believes should be reviewed.
“The January show is usually the strongest, and if there was one show per year, it would attract more visitors.
“There are some exhibitors who wouldn’t share my views on this, and their opinions would differ due to seasonal product ranges etc.”
TRADE SHOW CANCELLED AS EXHIBITORS FAIL TO COMMIT
An equestrian trade show due to be held this month has been called off, despite its experienced organisers “trying everything.”
The August 2017 Charlotte International Equestrian Market has been cancelled.
It was due to be held in North Carolina on 5 -7 August – just days before the AETA International Trade Show (12 - 14 August) at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
The Charlotte markets were run by experienced trade show organiser Kent Hopper’s Hopper Expositions. But following an inaugural event in February, support appeared to fall away.
“We have tried everything that we can think of to make this event a success,” said Kent on announcing the cancellation.
“Our main problem was the fact that the larger exhibiting companies would not commit their support and participation.”
Kent Hopper’s track record of organising English and Western trade shows dates back to 1992 when he joined Stan Stein’s Stanley Expositions.
Having left in 2005 to form Hopper Expositions, Kent began a nine year working relationship with the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA). Notable trade shows included those in the King of Prussia.
This year, Hopper Expositions struck out with its own shows - what have turned out to be the short-lived Charlotte International Equestrian Markets.
Meanwhile the AETA International Trade Show, due to go ahead this month, is now owned and run by the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA)
WHY THESE BRITISH-MADE GIFTS ARE HOT!
A company has been firing up new furnace capacity its 180 year old foundry to create brass giftware.
Abbey England has installed a larger capacity furnace at its 180 year old foundry in Walsall, UK.
The move enables the company to introduce British-made brass giftware at the AETA trade show next week (5 – 7 August).
Abbey England – a longstanding champion of British manufacturing – is making gifts in brass for the home and garden. Examples designed to enhance equestrian retailers’ stock include sundials and country style door knockers.
Also on offer hot from the Abbey foundry are bespoke solid brass coasters, which make great wedding favors and corporate gifts.
Expansion of its foundry has also enabled Abbey England to hire three additional craftspeople, taking its workforce to a total of 55.
“We are looking forward to entering new markets and excited about the opportunities which lie ahead,” said managing director Richard Brown.
Abbey England also produces buckles and fittings for the equestrian and fashion trades.
E-COMMERCE SPECIALIST PARTNERS WITH APPAREL SUPPLIER
A new partnership is set to foster even stronger connections between a popular brand and the equestrian community.
Kerrits Equestrian Apparel has announced a new partnership with e-commerce holding company Tenth Avenue Commerce (TAC).
Kerrits’ founder and CEO Kerri Kent, the company’s management team and staff remain in place.
“We’re now able to invest more in building deeper relationships with our customers and move forward with several new initiatives,” said Kerri of the new partnership.
TAC invests in leading brands across various industries, bringing its expertise in data-driven digital marketing to each partnership.
“We’re committed to collaborating with a company who strives to produce their goods in the US and has such a deep connection with their customers,” said TAC’s CEO Michael Chapin.
“We look forward to working with the current staff at Kerrits to help the brand grow.”
Founded in 1986, Kerrits is based in the Columbia River Gorge. The company is a member of the Equestrian Land Conservancy, uses ethically produced fabrics and manufactures the majority of its products in the US.
TAC, an affiliate of Tenth Avenue Holdings, is based in New York and Connecticut.
Founded in 2011, TAC owns and operates From You Flowers, Eve’s Addiction, H. Bloom, Brook & York, Send Flowers and Social Media Link.
OREGON RETAILER NAMED TOP HELMET FITTER
The co-owner of a saddlery store has been praised for her contribution to rider safety.
Patty Cameron of Gallops Saddlery has been named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.
Patty has co-owned the Tigard, Oregon store with Diane Snow for 18 years.
Charles Owen commended Patty’s dedication to ensuring that each of their customers leaves the store with a safe, well-fitted helmet.
COPS’ CHOICE OF SADDLE SETS SALES SOARING
The sight of New York police officers riding in a certain style of saddle is boosting retail sales across the USA.
US retailers are benefiting as numerous US Police Departments, including the NYPD, choose to ride in Bates’ traditional Australian stock saddles.
Sales of the Bates Outback have “dramatically increased” since larger seat sizes were introduced in May this year. The new models also have heritage style leather.
“Police Departments are choosing these saddles for the benefit of their horses’ backs and riders’ seats over numerous hours in the saddle,” said Ellen Bates, president of Saddlery Brands International (SBI) – the US distributor of Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles.
SBI also reports brisk sales of the Wintec 250 All Purpose since an updated, modern looking model was launched in May 2017.
The Bates and Wintec saddle brands will be at AETA on 12 – 14 August.
SHOW IS GATEWAY TO $5.5 BILLION UK EQUESTRIAN MARKET
With an international airport on its doorstep, American companies have easy access to the world’s leading B2B show for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product sectors.
BETA International 2018 (21-23 January) is the annual global buying and business platform located in Birmingham, the heart of the UK. It’s the perfect place to launch your business or increase its profitability.
With around 4,500 ABC-audited visitors – mainly key buyers and decision makers – and approximately 300 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, BETA International offers an unmissable opportunity to source innovative, new products and take part in this ultimate trade gathering held over three busy days, all under one roof.
This is a great time for American companies to get on board and secure a share of the UK's £4.3 billion ($5.5 billion) equestrian market. Exchange rates are extremely favourable and the show continues to be the launch pad for some of the finest and most inspiring new products and brands.
BETA International is also extremely accessible, with Birmingham International Airport literally next door and good-quality hotels – serviced by shuttle buses – on the doorstep, and visiting retailers can apply for free tickets.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming you on 21 to 23 January,” says James Palmer, BETA International sales manager.
HOW POLO BELTS INSPIRED A LIFESTYLE BRAND
British royal Princes William and Harry love the game – and now polo themed accessories are being snapped up by retailers across the US.
Luxury South American inspired lifestyle brand pampeano has seen sales rocket by 328% following its US debut earlier this year.
Its expertly hand-crafted leather pieces can now be found in 14 cities across the country.
pampeano's pieces can be recognised by Aztec pampa diamond patterns hand-woven on leather using wax-dipped saddlery threads.
First seen on pampeano’s leather polo belts, the theme carries through to its bags, wallets, washbags and keyrings.
Pampa diamonds represent the peaks and troughs of the Andes Mountain range.
RETIRING RETAILER IS “TRUE TEAM PLAYER”
Award winning retailer signs off after a career in which she’s helped make riders safer.
Julie Mickler, of Kentucky based Bob Mickler’s, was named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month, on the eve of her retirement.
Julie is described by the helmet manufacturer as “a true team player when it came to fitting customers with the safest helmets.”
She worked with many local groups, including student jockeys from Keeneland Training Center, to ensure they wear correctly fitted helmets.
The Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month award is a global accolade. It’s awarded monthly to retailers who go the extra mile in pursuit of rider safety and customer satisfaction.
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